**This is late because I’ve been sick on and off for a few days now. I thought I would address this in my series, since my illness is the whole reason I began my weight loss journey. And it’s the reason why I have limitations on what I can do to lose my weight.**
If you meet me in real life, you wouldn’t be able to tell that I am sick and live with a chronic illness. You wouldn’t be able to see how I struggle some days, to do the simplest of tasks because of my illness. How bending over to pick up my kitchen floor, is so painful, I have to have my children do it for me. Or when I can’t move other than from the bathroom to couch and back, because the pain is uncontrollable. How for the longest time, my life revolved my throw up bouts which lasted weeks on end (throw up bouts-I get sick a lot and puke sometimes everyday for a few weeks at a time) because who wants to throw up anywhere but their own home? No, I don’t look sick on the outside, but looks can be deceiving. Unless someone knows me, they don’t know how my days are a struggle because of my chronic illness in some shape or form. I stopped complaining for two reasons: 1. no one wants to hear me complain every single day of my life……..talk about depressing and 2. this is my life, this is what I have been dealt with……..it’s a part of who I am today. Sure, sometimes it gets the better of me and I start to feel sorry for myself and cry like when I am out in public and I get my stomach pains from a flair up, which is similar to Chrone’s disease, and I literally run to the bathroom where I explode. Usually, I have my 2 little ones in tow.
Unless you have a chronic illness, or have a close loved one who does, it’s hard to understand what people like me go through on a daily basis. The last few days have been hard for me because I’m having a flair up, but life keeps moving, whether you’re sick or not. Even when I am in the trenches, with little hope, grasping to whatever I can to keep me up, I always try to move forwards, no matter how small my steps are. It’s a hard road to travel on, but it’s one that I am grateful for, since it showed me the way to living a healthier lifestyle. Along the way, I have discovered a few things, that has made my travels a little easier. Below are 5 tips or mental notes to help others out there like me.
5 Tips For Living With A Chronic Illness:
*Accept the situation & yourself for what it is-
Once you accept that this is your life, you will be able to move on. For the longest time, I fought that this was how my life would be. I was determined to get my old life back before I was sick, which made things worse for me. Once, I realized that this is how it’s going to be, I was able to move on and learn ways to cope with my illness so I could start reliving my life. This step took me awhile, so don’t expect overnight realization. My aha moment was when I thought I was going to die. Sitting in the hospital all alone thinking about leaving my 5 kids and hubby, really woke me up. I felt like I was given a 2nd chance, and no matter what my limitations are, I am still alive living a healthier happier life with my family. And I try to live each day to the fullest because I know just how precious and short life really is.
*Figure out ways to cope with your illness-
This is an ongoing learning experience. There will always be things to learn that will make my life easier. When I 1st got sick, I was determined to keep up with everything as if I wasn’t sick. Once I accepted my situation for what it was, I was able to figure out ways to help me get things done like simple chores. For the longest time, I couldn’t bend down much if at all. I couldn’t lift and do my normal household duties. So, my children had to step up and help me. To this day, there is still a lot I can’t do, but my children do it without complaining because they know I physically can not.
*Your not alone-
No matter how alone we feel at any given moment, there are others out there going through the same situation you are. If you are looking to interact with others who also suffer from chronic illnesses, look to local and/or online support groups. For me personally, since my illness is rare and no one has it here in the states, I went overseas to find a support group. There was a small inactive one. So I broadened my perimeters and found a support group that was more general. There are others out there, you just need to find them.
*Take care of your whole self (mind, body, & spirit)-
It’s important to take care of our whole self, especially if you suffer with a chronic illness. Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about eating properly and exercising, it’s about taking proper care of your mind, body, & spirit. Do what you feel is right, to take care of yourself, & never apologize for it.
*Simplify your life-
The simpler our life is, the easier and happier to seems to be. Or at least that’s how it is for me. Over the last year or so, I have been trying to simplify all areas of my life. I began by cutting out the negativity that surrounded me including my self talk (which was a game changer on its own), decluttering my house, & putting memories & experiences in its place.
Living with a chronic illness is challenging but it isn’t the end of the world, unless you let it. We are stronger than we think, and don’t know how strong we are till we are put into challenging situations. Life is what we make of it, so make it a good one.
I would love for others to add other helpful tips & ideas. 🙂